How to Raise Money for a Trip Fast: 14 Killer Tips

by Published

Every year, millions of people suffer from a financially debilitating condition known as wanderlust. Side effects include itchy feet, impulsive #throwbackthursday posts, and an interest in listicles. If you have been diagnosed, know that you are not alone. Seriously though, why is travel so dang expensive! How am I supposed to know how to raise money for a trip to Europe if I can barely afford a croissant? 

Women on plane saying help me Im poor

The struggle is real when you’re diagnosed with wanderlust.

Trip fundraising has the tendency to get sidelined in our busy lives. So, I’ve compiled a bunch of creative ways outside of your day job to teach you how to raise money fast for a trip fast. Please note that crowdfunding websites are not recommended unless you’re volunteering abroad. It’s kind of cringey to ask people to pay for you to chill out and take photos of smoothie bowls. Okay, let’s get started.

Here are a few ways to raise money for a trip fast

Like… Tokyo Drift fast.

1. Sell your sh*t

You’re probably sitting on a fat stack of cash without even realizing it. Seriously, your unwanted furniture, books, and clothes could cover round trip flights to New Zealand if you do it right! Selling online is a coastal breeze with websites like eBay, Craigslist, and even Facebook. 

Donald Duck counting money

Who knew that Pokémon deck set in your basement was actually worth something?

Depending on the length of your trip, you could sell some more valuable items like kitchen appliances or your car for a guaranteed cushion of cash. Besides, minimalism is pretty trendy right now! Just don’t let your mom give away your Disney VHS tapes. Those were probably worth something, Karen!

2. Offer private lessons

Do you play an instrument? Maybe you’re a whizz at second languages? Basically, if you’re skillful in any interesting activity or discipline, you should offer lessons to teach it. There’s no shame in earning a profit when transferring valuable skills and just because you’re not a prodigy doesn’t make you unqualified. 

Find out how to raise money for a college trip by spending a few free afternoons teaching lessons. You can fill your wallet faster than an 8 year old can learn piano! Just don’t tell his parents that. Make a flyer, be upfront with your skill-level, then post it on message boards online or around your university.  “A+” for effort.

3. Room for rent

If you’re a homeowner, congrats! That’s an achievement in itself. Better yet, if you have a spare room, you should rent it out. It’s the best know-how to raise money fast for a trip and all you have to do is share. If you’re an apartment dweller with an extra bedroom, be sure to check with your property manager first. 

Sure, it’s a bit of a sacrifice for those who like their remote EXACTLY where they left it, but roomies can be a ton of fun. You can list a property pretty quickly online and a subletter is a great way to have incoming funds during your time abroad. This means you can order that second beer AND know your ficus is being watered! 

4. Done like a dinner

Fundraising ideas for trips should be fun and unique. A creative way to raise money for a trip fast is by hosting a dinner party with friends and family. Attempt to cook traditional dishes from your future host country(ies) as a way to pique excitement and offer a taste of the trip to come. 

Hungarian goulash? How bout some homemade Pho? Who cares! People freakin’ love food and your network will likely be happy to a good meal for some financial backing is a fair trade. Choose a reasonable yet lucrative admission price then preheat that oven cause your bank account is heating up!

5. A lil’ somethin’ something on the side

Even with a full-time job, freelancing is an excellent way to stretch those pockets. If you can dedicate extra hours or the occasional weekend to new brands or clients, then do it! There’s a number of straight-forward websites that let you list out your skills and showcase a portfolio for freelance work. Hobbies like photography and creative writing may just become your newest money-making thingy.      

[GET INSPIRED: 7 keys to budget travel]

Lena Dunham Gif I can no longer afford to work for free

Freelance away. You may even become the next Rick Steves along the way.

6. Pitch the press

If your next adventure is a pre-planned cultural extravaganza with enough thrills for an Indiana Jones reboot, why not pitch some of experiences to your local media? Newspapers and stations usually have a budgets for guest contributions and the travel industry is evergreen. 

By offering photos, videos, or written pieces of your travels, you may just offset some costs before, during, or after your trip. We live in a world where content is king and just about every blog, station, or publication is looking for some quality stories. 

7. Early Christmas

The best way to raise money for a trip fast is to expedite the holiday generosity of your loved ones. It’s not as sacrilegious as it sounds, so hear me out. Rather than waiting until November or December, try asking friends and family for monetary contributions to your trip in lieu of presents. 

Trading in future gifts, even birthday presents, for some present-day paper benefits everybody. It takes the guessing game out of gift giving, you get money now, and they save money later. Besides, your loved ones want to give you something special! Just be sure to return the favor with some authentic souvenirs or airport knick knacks from your trip. 

Three men throwing money GIF

Spend your newly earned moola on epic views and piña colada’s by the beach! #Makeitrain

8. Artistic? Have an exhibition

Ready for a stroke of genius? If you’re a talented artist with some inspiration at the ready, host an exhibition! Whether you’re a painter, photographer, sculptor, or even graphic designer, there’s a number of ways you can raise money for a trip fast by selling your artwork. Consider an intimate look at your work by showcasing a collection at your home or choose a local venue for a bigger audience. 

[Crunching the Numbers: 6 Tips to Create (& Stick to) Your Study Abroad Budget]

Just be sure to inform attendees exactly why you’re raising money. They’ll be more inclined to buy if they know you’re gearing up for your next big cultural inspiration. You can sell art online using stores like Etsy or Shopify, but you’ll spend some time and money getting those up and running (which is the opposite point of this article).

9. Host a trivia night

Oman you’re Ghana love this one. Forego a night out at the bars and round the troops for your very own quiz night. It’s a great way to get everyone together and you can theme the night around your favorite topic: travel! If college has taught you anything, it’s how to whip out a PowerPoint in a few hours. 

Come up with an entertaining mix of questions, announce a grand prize, and have attendees pitch a few bucks to join in. I’ve seen more than 30 people pitch $6 each for the chance to win a salted caramel cake, so don’t overthink it. Just make sure everyone knows the rules beforehand (Hell hath no fury like a spotted cell phone at trivia). Like Finland’s flag, hosting your own quiz night is a big plus!

Confused John Travolta standing inside of empty wallet

Maybe try checking for loose change under the couch cushions? Every penny counts!

10. Make a budget

You know that thing your parents, teachers, and self-help books have been begging you to do for the last few decade or so? Maybe it’s time to give budgeting a shot. Ya know, just so you can spend it all later. Budgeting as a concept is fairly simple; You note how much money you’re earning, track your spending, make some goals, and adjust your habits. 

Budgeting as a practice feels like choosing the middle seat on a crowded flight. Luckily, there’s a number of apps, like Unsplurge or Mint, that have proven to be super helpful to creating and sticking to a budget in this tempting world of brunches and BOGOs. Besides, you’ll need to be able to budget once all these tips get you flushed with cash anyway. 

11. Work, work, work, work, work

If you work in retail, restaurants, or any type of shift work, stick to what you know and opt in for a few more shifts. Notify your supervisor that you’re looking to add some more shifts to your weekly or monthly schedule. Be sure to mention to coworkers that you’re eager to cover some shifts too. 

[How to travel the world on a shoestring budget]

Penguin walking with a suitcase GIF

Need to raise money for a trip fast? Waddle on and work work work work work!

Even if all this trip fundraising is to escape the humdrum of your day job, working extra shifts is guaranteed earnings. Also, putting in the extra effort may just get you enough brownie points for a raise. Booyah!       

12. Automate savings

One of the best ways to raise money for a college trip is to take the brainwork out of trip fundraising. If you’re a muggle who uses mobile or online banking instead of Gringotts, you can practice some money magic by setting up an automatic transfer from your spending to savings account. This works especially well if you’re paid via direct deposit. 

Simply arrange a repeat transfer for a few days after each payday. Before you know it, your money will grow faster than you can say “geminio” which would also do the trick if you studied at Hogwarts, but you didn’t and this is the best we can do, okay? 

13. Move back home

Considered a last resort by some and a jackpot by others, moving in with your parents is one of the best ways to raise money for a trip fast. In fact, moving back in with your OGs so you can do some travelling later may just be the most millennial move in the books. 

Your rental agreement may include some sort of “rent,” whether that’s money, chores, or both, but you’ll be saving big time by shrinking the cost of housing. Plus, there’s bound to be some bowls of snacks laying around with your name on it. Remember, the twin bed is worth it for the twin jet engines. 

[WATCH: Volunteering abroad for free]

Landscape views through heart shaped glasses

The views you’ll see through those plastic sunglasses you found on the floor will be more valuable than Gucci shades would ever be.

14. Guac is extra, is that okay?

Knowing how to raise money for a college trip fast is knowing how to save it in the first place. Careless spending adds up and separating your wants vs. needs is critical for trip fundraising. Now, I’m not saying that extra guac will crush your dreams, or that avocado toast derails home ownership; just remember that “treat yo self” should be just that—a treat. Brew coffee at home. Sneak snacks into the movies. Bring your lunch. It’s all good practice for when it’s time for the actual trip too since you’ll be rationalizing just about every purchase.  

*BONUS:* 15. Switch to Geico

Apparently 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance… No clue whether or not there’s any truth to it but that little green dude seems reputable. 

Mind on your money, money on your mind

By now, you should have a pretty good idea about how to raise money for a trip fast. Being penny-wise (not the scary clown) or pound-foolish (much less scary) requires a discipline and an ability to keep your travel dreams in mind. Put a few of these bad boys into practice along with some lifestyle adjustments and you’ll be jetsetting in no time. In the wise words of our lord Yeezy, “Go head and switch the style up and if they hate, let 'em hate, watch the money pile up."

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